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CPBigwood

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A leading Birmingham business has been banging the gong for the city in London.

Property agents CPBigwood have won a second national award in successive months.

Following gold in The Negotiator Awards it has taken silver in the Best Auction Agency category of the prestigious Estate Agency of the Year Awards held at the Lancaster London Hotel.

“It is another proud result for us,” said senior partner Rory Daly. “We are absolutely thrilled.

“Year on year we attempt to improve as a business and I am just so happy for the staff whose efforts are truly outstanding.”

In association with The Sunday Times & The Times, and sponsored by Zoopla, The Estate Agency of the Year Awards are billed as the industry’s Oscars – the longest running and most highly regarded awards event in the sector.

The citation stated: “This company prides itself on giving professional, honest advice and manages to stay impartial when recommending the best method of disposal for a property, even if that recommendation leads to the vendor selling elsewhere.

“The team provides as much exposure to the property as possible, and have spent time introducing new platforms to do this; there is a new website which has been redesigned to be much more user friendly as well as digital catalogues and downloadable documents. They have also implemented a new bespoke auction package.

“Growth is improving year on year and can be directly attributed to the focused marketing activities and innovative service.

”CPBigwood values corporate social responsibility highly and its auctioneers personally conduct auctions for charities, raising over £1.5 million. The majority of the auction team have been with CPBigwood for between 10 and 25 years, and have over 275 years’ experience between them, so clients are in expert hands.”

In The Negotiator Awards the firm won the top accolade, being named Residential Auction House of The Year.

CPBigwood are one of the largest property auction houses outside London and are firmly established in the top ten national auction houses in the UK.

Last year the cumulative figure for 2013 came in at £51,082,200, with 604 lots offered against 2012’s £47 million on 570 lots. This year sales are on track to break £60 million, a 20 per cent increase.
The firm has been expanding fast and now has offices in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley-in-Arden, Loughborough, Southampton and London.

CPBigwood offers the complete property service including commercial and residential agency, property management, valuations, auctions, agricultural, professional consultancy, building surveys and development and planning.

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CPBigwood’s appointment by one of the UK’s leading fast fit firms has produced its first success for its new concept called HiQ in a box.

HiQ commissioned the property agents to seek out new sites the length and breadth of the UK.

Now a deal has been completed for the inaugural unit, a new centre being established in Maidstone.

The property is Unit C, Hart Street Estate, comprising approximately 2,920 sq ft gross internal area.

CPBigwood commercial property partner Brian Bentley said: “We are very pleased to see this deal complete – hopefully Maidstone will be the start of many more.

“A number are in the pipeline, we are making good progress and we are stepping up the hunt for new sites.”

The business currently has 125 sites and aims to grow to 250 by 2017 with 420,000 sq ft across the UK which it expects to increase to around 875,000 sq ft.

HiQ is the franchised fast fit arm of one of the world’s largest tyre companies, Goodyear Dunlop.

Mr Bentley said: “We are seeking roadside locations, for preference, and buildings of 2,500-10,000 sq ft.

“Retail locations and trade parks will be considered, as will development sites and new buildings.

“HiQ are also prepared to share with complementary businesses where there is a good fit.

“Goodyear Dunlop is a global, multi-national company with ambitious national expansion plans and a straightforward commercial approach. This means they are able to give quick decisions on sites offering a ten year lease, subject to suitable terms, or may even consider outright purchase.”

In the Midlands and Wales, HiQ are looking in Gloucester, Leicester, Newport, north Birmingham and Solihull.

They are also on the hunt for further locations across the north of England, the south of England and Scotland.

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CPBigwood is expanding its London operation with a move to new premises.

It follows continued growth and a consequent build-up of staff.

The firm is switching its offices from Naoroji Street, Clerkenwell, to King William Street, Monument-London Bridge.

CPBigwood has a number of senior staff working permanently in the capital and it is used as a base by many others whenever business dictates.

Leading figures operating out of London are Rupy Jandu, senior property manager for London and the South East, property manager Jenny Cousins, property manager Ross Hollingshead, and London accounts manager, Mark Lewis.

They followed partner and former Leicester, Moseley and Barbarians rugby player Bill Drake-Lee who spearheaded the move into London in 2012 to service clients in the South-East and develop business, in particular pitching for CPBigwood to manage newly completed apartment blocks and mixed use developments.

Subsequent successes have included Macaulay Walk in Clapham, a mixed-use residentially-led scheme in the heart of Clapham Old Town being developed by Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential property owner and manager, Saffron Square being developed by Berkeley Group, a mixed-use development of apartments, penthouses and commercial units in Croydon, which is currently 43 storeys high but with another ten to be added, cementing its place as the tallest in the town, together with the recent appointment at Southside, London Bridge.

Ian Smallman, partner in the residential service charge department, said: “The office has been expanding fast.

“The new base is in a more central location which will be even better for clients and staff alike.

“We have been recruiting additional property management staff and needed extra space. The London operation is bringing us fantastic opportunities. It is about understanding customers’ needs – developers, freeholders and leaseholders.”

CPBigwood moved in to the new offices on Monday, December 1.

Mr. Smallman added: “While the London economy has calmed down a little it is still very strong.

“There remains high demand for prime residential property and lack of supply to meet this demand, which developers are keen to take advantage of. The demand is being driven by overseas buyers who view the London residential market as a safe investment providing good returns. “Initially, from our London office, we are managing apartment blocks and mixed use developments, with the lettings side, auction sales and other services to follow in time.

“We build teams specifically focused on delivering a service that the individual investor or developer requires – not a one size fits all approach that all too often lacks precision both in planning and delivery.

“More and more inner city blocks and regeneration schemes comprise residential and commercial uses that require management and, it helps a lot with the uniformity of estate management when one company can manage all aspects of a development.

“Drawing on the experience of our qualified residential and commercial managers CPBigwood are able to prepare service charge and management strategies for mixed use developments, and developers and investors can feel confident that the strategy for their development works in practice and that the management will be undertaken by one company.”

CPBigwood has 25,000 residential units under management across the country.

Mr Smallman said: “CPBigwood recognise that flexibility is required, with some customers needing a higher level of service than others especially for prime London properties.

“Our residential clients include national and regional developers, freehold investors, institutional investors, resident management companies and resident associations. On the commercial side we act for a large number of clients including national occupiers, institutions, public bodies, charitable trusts and institutional and private investors.”

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CPBigwood has taken on a new graduate surveyor in the commercial agency department.

Leah Cave attended the University of the West of England at Bristol – also acting as a lettings negotiator at a student letting company in the city.

Most recently she has been a property litigation assistant in the litigation department at law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

At CPBigwood she will be assisting the commercial agency department with letting, sales and acquisition of retail, office and industrial units throughout the West Midlands.

And she will be enrolling on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ Assessment of Professional Competence course which should eventually see her become a fully qualified chartered surveyor.

She said: “This is a great opportunity for me and I am thrilled to be joining such a substantial, wide-ranging and well-respected firm as CPBigwood.”

Ian Tudor, commercial agency and auctions partner, said: “The business is expanding fast and we are always on the look-out for talented young people. I am sure Leah will prove a significant asset to the firm.”

A keen sportswoman, she skis, plays netball and enjoys taking part in charity running events.

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Three property executives at CPBigwood have received the official seal of approval from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

James Carver, Joe Jobson and Rob Watts have passed the RICS’ Assessment of Professional Competence and are now Charted Surveyors with immediate effect.

Ian McPhillips, valuation and professional services partner, praised their efforts.

He said: “All three are graduate surveyors and have worked very hard over the past two years or so to achieve this qualification.

“I congratulate them and wish them every success for their future careers.”

Mr Carver is based in CPBigwood’s Stratford-upon-Avon office where he works in the commercial agency and valuations department.

Mr Jobson is in the residential service charge operation undertaking the day to day running and management of properties for clients covering the South East and Birmingham.

Mr Watts is part of the commercial agency department dealing with commercial lettings, sales and auctions.

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Brett Williams has been named as new managing partner of growing national property consultancy CPBigwood.

He takes over from Nigel Curry who has seen the firm through a number of recent mergers and acquisitions.

The merger of Curry & Partners with Bigwood in 2011 created CPBigwood and the firm has since grown in size and location with the addition of a number of businesses and the opening of a London office.

Lloyd Property Management in Leicestershire was acquired in 2012 to provide an East Midlands base and last year CPBigwood acquired DMA Chartered Surveyors in Hampshire to provide a base for expansion in the south of England.

The London office led by partner Bill Drake-Lee, former Leicester Tigers player, also opened in 2012.

In 2013, CPBigwood acquired the established management practice of DMA Chartered Surveyors in Southampton.

CPBigwood senior partner Rory Daly said: “This is a natural progression for the firm as Brett was always intended as Nigel’s successor long term and we are very grateful for the work that Nigel has put in to bed down a merger of two very busy companies and oversee the merger of both staff and systems as we have expanded in the East Midlands, the south and London.

“We will continue to seek the right acquisition & merger opportunities, either if they are of sufficient size or close to one of our existing offices.”

Brett Williams also paid tribute to the work of his predecessor.

“Nigel has worked really hard and hands over the managing partner role with CPBigwood in great shape and I wish to thank him formally for this.

“I have worked with Nigel for over ten years and increasingly closely over the last few years. We will continue to invest in staff development and technology to meet with our aim to surpass clients’ service expectations.”

Mr Williams, a chartered surveyor and past chairman of ARMA, the Association of Residential Managing Agents, also sits on the RICS residential management committee.

He will remain head of CPBigwood’s biggest department, leading the residential service charge team which manages 25,000 apartments nationwide from five offices and has a forward order book of 4,500 units in confirmed instructions with a similar number of quotes and tenders submitted.

He added: “It is gratifying to know that my partners have confidence in me for this very important role.

Nigel Curry said: “The business has had incredible success over the past few years and I feel the timing is now right for Brett to take the managing partner role and be at the forefront of managing the growth of the business with Rory Daly as senior partner. I will remain actively involved in working with Rory and Brett in what are very exciting times for CPBigwood.”

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One of Stratford-upon-Avon’s most prominent sites is now the new home of a fast-expanding property development company.

The Rosconn Group has acquired the corner complex on one of Stratford’s busiest junctions, 42 Greenhill Street and 1 Grove Road, which was being marketed by agents CPBigwood.

Totalling 2,085 sq ft, it was once the headquarters of printing business Stratford Repro.

Managing director Daniel O’Donnell said Rosconn Group and its various companies were likely to create circa ten jobs locally as a result of the move.

“Rosconn Group is now occupying part of the premises and will sub let the ground floor commercial space, I found Graham Carter and his team at CPBigwood to be highly professional and a pleasure to deal with,” he said.

CPBigwood partner Graham Carter said: “It is a prime spot and we were very pleased to agree the sale to Rosconn Group.”

The building, partly three-storey and partly two-storey, dates from the late Victorian era with more modern additions.

The Rosconn Group, which has moved from premises at Union House, 7-9 Union Street, Stratford, specialises in residential developments, land promotion and master planning.

Schemes currently under construction include sites in Wylde Green, Wellesbourne and Claverdon.

Master planning of many other sites is currently underway and can be viewed on the Strategic Section of the website.

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Ryan Woodcock has joined property agents CPBigwood as technical coordinator.

A law graduate of the University of Aberystwyth, he was formerly a store supervisor for a leading outdoor clothes brand.

The work involved management of the unit and its employees, while also driving sales to improve the business.

He said: “I am very pleased to get this opportunity to develop my career in such a forward-thinking company.”

Mr Woodcock will be working within the Residential Service Charge department.

Technical manager Louise Fassnidge said: “Ryan is enthusiastic, hard-working and keen to progress. I am sure he will prove an asset to the business.”

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Corals is to open a new branch in Yardley in a deal put together by property agents CPBigwood.

Following lengthy negotiations, the bookmaker has taken a ten year lease on 148 & 150 Church Road.

The property was recently refurbished to a high standard – local occupiers include Greggs, Wetherspoons, Iceland and charity Acorn Children’s Hospice.

Rob Watts, part of CPBigwood’s commercial agency team, said: “It is in a prominent position and should suit Corals well.

“It lies within a busy parade of shops, in close proximity to the Swan Island, and nearby the Tesco Superstore there. It is promising that national operators such as Corals are seeking quality High Street premises such as this.”

As well as a strong footfall, the area also enjoys good transport links, being just off the A45 Coventry Road.

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Stuart Styles has joined the Birmingham office of CPBigwood as a property manager.

He has worked in the sector for a number of years having had a keen interest in the property industry from a young age.

Mr Styles achieved a BSc (Hons) Property Management Investment degree at the University of the West of England in Bristol.

He was a property manager in tenanted properties before relocating and working in residential service charge management for five years gaining considerable experience in the complexities of managing a variety of different developments across the Midlands.

He is an Associate of the Institute of Residential Property Management.

Mr Styles said: “As soon as I was aware of a position available at CPBigwood I naturally wanted to become part of a recognised, well respected and growing company thereby allowing me to continue and further progress in my career in the most effective way possible.”

Andrew Winstanley, associate partner – property management, said: “Stuart is an experienced operator and we are very pleased to have him on board.

“I am confident he will prove a significant asset for the business.”